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  • My LBS in TN

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A little more history…of me

So, I’m in Tennessee now. How did I get here?

3 days before Thanksgiving about 4 years ago, I was studying for a calculus test at the local community college. You see, I still at the point of trying to go back and finish the engineering degree that I had started on at Purdue. I’m at home, day off from work, and my phone rings. My mom called and said my dad was in the hospital. Probably pneumonia. He’d had that before, before his heart attack. Stressful life, city police officer. But, she told me when the next two flights were and to get on one. My first clue it was BAD. I called my professor and work and relatives and who knows who else. Got the flight and ended up in Tennessee sometime after midnight.

Friends of my mom picked me up from the airport and delivered me to the VA center. Yes, that’s what I said. And yes, it scared the hell out of me hearing that the first time. You must know, the VA center that my dad was at is more like a medical university. In fact, the medical university across they way is second choice to work at if you want to be in on cutting edge medicine.

So, it turns out he contracted Legionaires Disease. I had never heard of it either. It’s a bacterial pneumonia instead of viral. It’s not contagious. You can only get it directly from the source, which is usually some sort of standing water. The disease was named for the Legionaires that died from it during a meeting they were at. It came from some water standing in the air conditioning system in the building. We do not officially know where my dad contracted it, and that’s where I’ll leave it.

Now he’s in ICU. Time is irrelevant for me, so bear with me. Imagine walking into the room and someone you love is unconscious, hooked up to 20(I’m not exaggerating) IV’s and bloated all to hell. Not very damned recognizable. Over the next few days we were told he’d die, his brain was fried due to high temperature, dialysis, I don’t even remember half of it.

I do remember one good time. I was talking to him in this state. It was an induced coma. That was due to the disease basically sucking up all of your oxygen, so, the drug pumped into him combats that and concentrates the oxygen left into his vital organs. Yep, he was mottled. But, sometimes it looked like he tried to open his eyes and see. So, there I was holding his hand on one side and my mom standing on the other side. I started to giggle. I told my mom that I had to fart. So, I got close to my dad and told him that I had to fart, so would he pull my finger. We always joked about that one. He squeezed my hand as well as he could. That was my little spark of hope. He was still in there and that meant he was fighting.

It wouldn’t be until a couple of days before Christmas that he was moved to PCU. The next step in recovery. I had gone home for awhile, to finish class and whatnot. I flew back for the holidays. I’ll continue there next time. Thanks for reading.

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